This week on MIP: EPO defends record, Abion poaches three from Clyde & Co
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This week on MIP: EPO defends record, Abion poaches three from Clyde & Co

Patent, EPO
The EPO's headquarters in Munich

We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP

EPO defends appeals record amid quality criticism

The EPO defended its record on patent quality after fresh criticism from a former director who said data from the office’s Boards of Appeal indicated a declining performance.

Daniel Thomas, who headed multiple EPO departments during his career, analysed the outcome of BoA appeals against decisions by the office’s opposition division throughout 2023.

According to his findings, just 20.3% of patents survived untouched after the end of BoA proceedings.

Click here to read the full story.

Abion launches in Dubai with triple Clyde & Co hire

Intellectual property legal services firm Abion launched a Dubai office and hired two ex-Clyde & Co lawyers to lead it, Managing IP revealed on February 1.

Mark Devaney, a former Clyde & Co partner, and Nicole Giblin, a former legal director at the firm, will run the new office. They were joined by paralegal Farid El-Hares, a former senior administrator at Clyde & Co.

Click here to read the full story.

Other articles published on Managing IP this week include:


Five minutes with … Andrew Carridge, Reddie & Grose

Weekly take: SEP owners have benefited from a lack of transparency

How India’s full-service firms are gearing up to secure more IP work

Behind the case: Brandsmiths’ Umbro TM win shows ‘big-ticket’ credentials

How three firms snagged former government employees

Irell & Manella overcomes anti-China bias threat in $67.5 million patent win

Firm’s double IP hire will help clients manage ‘intense’ patent challenges

Elsewhere in IP

Problem markets

The US Trade Representative published its 2023 Special 301 Notorious Markets report on Wednesday, January 31.

According to the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which represents the five leading copyright trade associations in the US, the report includes many of the notorious online and physical markets identified by IIPA members.

The 2023 report includes previously identified online markets, such as Libgen.rs and Sci-Hub.se, which provide access to millions of journal articles and academic papers, as well as newly identified markets such as the stream-ripping site Savefrom.net.

301 submission

Separately, the IIPA has called on the US government to place nine countries, including China and Mexico, on its annual ‘priority watch list’ when it publishes its wider Special 301 Report list later this year.

In a submission to the USTR, the IIPA said Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Vietnam should be placed on the list.

The 301 Report is usually published around the end of April and identifies which of the US’s trading partners need to improve their IP frameworks. It is an expanded and more detailed review than this week's Notorious Markets report.

Trademark troubles

In a sign that IP can hit the national headlines, the BBC tackled so-called ‘David v Goliath’ trademark disputes in an article published on Sunday, January 28. The broadcaster reported on a battle between a UK-based small garden supply business called L V Bespoke, which faced a trademark opposition claim filed by fashion house Louis Vuitton Malletier. The garden supply company secured victory on January 16.

Spicy dispute

A lawsuit has erupted in India over the origin of the popular butter chicken dish. The dispute, filed in the Delhi High Court, involves two competing restaurants and families, each claiming a lineage with the city's renowned Moti Mahal restaurant, and each calling themselves the inventors of the dish.

A report on the BBC noted that in recent years, chefs have invoked IP rights to defend their restaurants, their signature styles, and their dishes, although it's rare for a case to reach the courts.

Huawei under fire

Netgear filed an antitrust complaint against Huawei at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Tuesday, January 30, accusing it of refusing to license its standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.

The complaint, which centred on Huawei-owned SEPs covering Wi-Fi technologies, also contained allegations that the Chinese company demanded excessive royalties, had discriminated against Netgear in its pricing demands, and engaged in racketeering activities.

The US action follows patent infringement lawsuits filed by Huawei against Netgear in China and Germany, including at the Unified Patent Court.

Centripetal’s multi-million win

A jury at the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that Palo Alto Networks should pay Centripetal Networks $151.5 million in damages for patent infringement on Wednesday, January 31.

The jury determined that Palo Alto Networks had infringed four Centripetal Networks patents. Centripetal had launched infringement proceedings against Palo Alto Networks in 2021.

Irish landing

Law firm Bird & Bird has expanded its team in Ireland with the addition of litigator Ann Henry. She started at the firm yesterday, February 1.

With more than 20 years’ experience, Henry represents international companies in pan-European litigation, particularly in patent litigation and data privacy disputes in the life sciences, technology, and retail sectors.

That's it for today, see you again next week.

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